Unfortunately for manufacturers, many distributors are deeply rooted in antiquated marketing tactics that yield only moderate results despite the digital world offering endless growth potential. Gone are the days when newspapers and magazines made up one-third of the media landscape — so why do so many in the animal health industry continue to lean on these old-school approaches?
We believe animal health manufacturers need digital-savvy marketing partners to keep step with an evolving industry. As digital media overtakes traditional advertising — it now accounts for more than half of total ad spending — it’s critical to market animal health products through innovative inbound marketing and revolutionary digital strategies.
Distributors should be providing cutting-edge marketing for manufacturers to ensure their brand isn’t left behind by the market’s evolution. Here are five areas of marketing to consider when evaluating your marketing partner’s capabilities.
First impressions matter. Take one look at a company’s website and you’ll know whether it was designed in this decade or not. Manufacturers’ primary responsibility is the innovation of their products — not their website, branding or other marketing strategies. Unfortunately, that means manufacturers often slide into the status quo and remain there. That’s why the first key to identifying a modern marketing professional is to recognize whether innovation is part of the conversation. A valuable marketing partner will ask forward-thinking questions about brand positioning and pain points and then suggest new strategies to consider.
2. Brand Awareness
If you don’t have somebody fighting for your brand, you’re going to get lost in the mix. There are countless products out there and tons of competition — so if a distributor can make a higher margin on a private label, there’s not much incentive for them to talk about another brand unless the veterinarian is asking for it. That’s why brand awareness matters. Master distributors with modern competencies can build that awareness from the ground up so customers are talking about and asking for your products by name.
3. Integrated Marketing
Social media, paid advertising, email campaigns — these tools and many others help paint a complete picture of you as a manufacturer. A distributor shouldn’t be the only party representing your brand. With an integrated marketing plan, a master distributor can help you connect to veterinary and pet-owner customers at their regular watering holes within the digital landscape. By understanding and embracing components of marketing that have become standard (such as search engine optimization), you can tailor marketing campaigns to the veterinarians who are already searching for what you offer. You don’t have to wait for a magazine ad to reach potential customers; you can target those very people now and see immediate results.
4. Animal-Centric Marketing
Sometimes with larger health care organizations, even those considered first-class, animal health tends to receive less attention. But if you partner with a master distributor who acts as an extension of your marketing team, their full attention can be directed toward the animals, which is where it belongs. After all, reaching animals in need and improving their medical well-being is your product’s objective, and your marketing team should share that objective. A comprehensive marketing partner (who doesn’t neglect the “animal” in animal health) can increase brand awareness, generate demand and grow your revenue — all while championing your brand’s mission of improving animals’ lives.
5. Proof of Success
An increase in sales and market penetration are the biggest signs of a successful marketing strategy. Along the way to those results, there are myriad opportunities to measure progress. If you’re not receiving regular reports on everything from ROI to KPIs, it’s time to make a change. Detailed analysis — of email campaigns, social media, paid advertising and other digital tactics — is critical to strategic planning. Not only does it ensure an efficient and effective marketing spend, it can also translate to a return on investment.
Contact us to learn more about marketing your brand in the animal health industry.